A Living Sacrifice focuses on the inherent relationship between eschatology and the liturgy in light of Ratzinger’s insistence upon the primacy of logos over ethos. When logos is subordinated to ethos, the human person becomes subjected to a materialist ontology that leads to an ethos that is concerned above all by utility and progress, which affects one’s approach to understanding the liturgy and eschatology. How a person celebrates the liturgy becomes subject to the individual whim of one person or a group of people. Eschatology is reduced to addressing the temporal needs of a society guided by a narrow conception of hope or political theology. If the human person wants to understand his authentic sacramental logos, then he must first turn to Christ the incarnate Logos, who reveals to him that he is created for a loving relationship with God and others.

The primacy of logos is the central hermeneutical key to understanding the unique vision of Ratzinger’s Christocentric liturgical theology and eschatology. This is coupled with a study of Ratzinger’s spiritual Christology with a focus on how it influences his theology of liturgy and eschatology through the notions of participation and communion in Christ’s sacrificial love. Finally, A Living Sacrifice examines Ratzinger’s theology of hope, charity, and beauty, as well as his understanding of active participation in relationship to the eschatological and cosmic characteristics of the sacred liturgy.


Roland Millare serves as the vice president for curriculum and the program director of Shepherd’s Heart (a continuing education and formation program for priests and deacons) for the St. John Paul II Foundation in Houston. He is an adjunct professor of theology for deacon candidates at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. Dr. Millare earned his doctorate in sacred theology at the Liturgical Institute/University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.


“As a work of academic scholarship, it would have been sufficient for Roland Millare to provide a thorough and faithful guide to Ratzinger’s unified vision of liturgical eschatology, something which this book certainly accomplishes. But this is also the contribution of a disciple, who joins Ratzinger in prayerfully attending the God who speaks in his Incarnate Son. Ever cooperatores in veritatis, Millare and Ratzinger provide the right focus and orientation for the whole of the Church’s faith and life.”
Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes Bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter


“Whether Logos is prior to ethos or whether praxis trumps everything is the most important question in Catholic theology at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Joseph Ratzinger was firmly of the view, as was his intellectual hero of his youth, the great Romano Guardini, that Logos must be prior to ethos if the world, including the Church, is not to sink into a totalitarian nightmare. Roland Millare offers the best account available of why this is so, with reference to the theology of a raft of contemporary authors, above all, the theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. This work is a great contribution to the fields of fundamental and liturgical theology.”
Tracey Rowland University of Notre Dame, Australia


“Millare’s eminently scholarly study focuses our appreciation of Ratzinger’s vast oeuvre on its central, Christocentric concern and thereby raises our faith above facile political categories to beholding the form of the Risen Christ and apprehending therein the proper source for a robust and confident New Evangelization.”
Fr. Emery de Gaal University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary


“Roland Millare offers us a helpful guide to the liturgical theology on Joseph Ratzinger. From the cosmical to the eschatological dimension of the liturgy (from the Genesis to the Apocalypse), he explains how the sacrifice of the Incarnate Logos must be celebrated according to the logike latreia (Rom 12:1). The liturgical celebration is then a participation of the liturgy in the heavenly Jerusalem, the heaven in the earth, as Ratzinger shows us.”
Fr. Pablo Blanco University of Navarra, Spain


“Roland Millare’s study, based on thorough research into Joseph Ratzinger’s writings, sources, and critics, lays bare the spiritual vision underlying all Pope Benedict’s theological and pastoral advice to the Church of his day. The Logos incarnate is the key to the human essence—now redeemed by the Paschal Mystery, and prepared by the Liturgy and its fruit in charitable living for transforming encounter with God when world history comes to its End.”
Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP St. Michael’s Seminary and Theological College, Jamaica


“In his work, Roland Millare presents an excellent analysis of what is at the center of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. He examines the works of one of the greatest theologians underlining the fact that without the centrality of Jesus Christ, faith will easily be misguided and subjected to ideological ends. This book serves as a point of reference to stay focused on what is essential and it provides deep insight into the mystery of our Faith.”
Fr. Ralph Weimann The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and Regina Apostolorum, Rome

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A Living Sacrifice: Liturgy and Eschatology in Joseph Ratzinger